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20121202
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the fiscal cliff. right after the election wall street dropped 5% when everybody suddenly focused on the fiscal cliff and realized that this was a problem. but since then it's kind of bumped along at this sort of level. i don't think wall street is at all sanguine about the idea that if we went over the fiscal cliff, life would go on as we know it and everything would be fine. >> one of the things that was really interesting to me to bear out that point is ken conrad yesterday who's been so down, i mean, he's leaving the senate. he's done this for seven years. they can't produce deals. and yesterday when i interviewed him, joe, he said i think we're going to make this. i think the boehner offer had significant indicators that something here is going on, and they're going to come together. >> also, kent conrad, a guy -- i've loved him for a long time, deficit hawk. they haven't allowed him to put a budget out for years. he's growing frustrated. i'm sure he's going to be glad to leave. but i was surprised by that as well. you see also, sam stein, republicans are now starting to real
of the election. issues like entitlement reform and new revenue, but he's going to have to do something big. there's been a four-year course of he doesn't get along with either party, doesn't make the kind of effort you're talking about. i don't think there's any doubt he's going to, particularly john boehner, find some human interconnection moment that says we're doing this. and that's when the tough part starts. because once there's a leader deal, getting it through the house, whatever the terms of it is going to be super hard. >> i was with a group of businessmen last night, and their question was, why don't the people in washington do what we do when there's an important decision that comes up? why don't they get into a room and hammer it out, get some food, drinks, whether it's a couple days, get them helicopters, and go to camp david. you get in a room together -- >> the president -- the president doesn't like doing that. he's not comfortable doing that. and jon meacham, that is not the opinion of a pundit, that is a matter of historical record for his first four years. is it not? >> that's
can get this sorted out, you can really move forward, and therefore, i think now that your elections are out of the way, i'm just speaking as an outsider, now your election is out of the way, there's going to be all this bargaining and positions, but my expectations, i hope, and the desire of the world, is sorted out, and we can move on, and then sort our own problems out. >> for those of us in the united states, we see sort of what seems to be two intractable issues. republicans saying we will not raise taxes on the top 2% of earners. the democrats say we're certainly not going to have cuts that hurt spending cuts that hurt the middle class. and as the proposals go on the table they seem intractable on it. >> they do. but you would expect them, the republicans to be more on the tax side and democrats to be more on the we're not cutting spending side. this is pretty routine type of argument. the question is, you know, are they so far apart they can't bridge the gap? i think they could bridge the gap. you know, there have been proposals put forward on a cross-party basis before that v
of constitution in which people can have a say in e lebl electing the government and where the countries have put in a more stable issue. so this is fantastically difficult. again, what we've seen in the middle east, we saw it in iraq and now in syria. once you lift the lid off of these very repressive regimes, out comes this religious, ethnic, tribal tense. >> how worried are you about the situation in egypt? >> i think egypt is key to the region. you've got to be extremely worried when you see instability affecting egypt. this is, again, these are the birth pains of proper democracy in some ways. but this struggle is immensely important because obviously, what is important in these countries, where they've moved to a democratic system, is that there is a clear understanding. it's a way of thinking. and part of that way of thinking is that you've got to preblgt minorities. you've got to -- democracy doesn't function unless it is accompanied by an open mind. and so, you can understand there is a lot of anxiety in egypt about the constitutional proposals. they obviously applauded e jipt's efforts
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